The Jewish Chronicle, the world’s oldest Jewish newspaper, was acquired by a private consortium and thus saved from the liquidation.
Earlier this month two UK’s most popular Jewish media — Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News — announced about a creditors’ voluntary liquidation. In February this year, both publications have been experiencing extreme financial pressures and even planned to merge but the process had been interrupted by the pandemic crisis.
The JC has been rescued from the liquidation at an open auction by the private consortium led by Robbie Gibb, former head of communications at Downing Street, who offered to pay all the existing creditors and provide the stable financial condition for JC staff.
The Jewish Chronicle Trust, a legal paper owner responsible for the media’s integrity and editorial independence is pleased with ownership change and is happy that in such difficult time for all newspapers, JC, “the “beating heart” of the community, has been saved and put into good hands.”
“We trust that the consortium will maintain the high regard in which the JC has been held for the last 179 years. We wish Sir Robbie, the consortium, and everyone associated with the JC, well: chazak ve’ematz – be strong and of good courage,” said David Wolfson, the chair of the JC Trust.
The consortium bid was worth around £2-£2.5m including the offer to pay all existing creditors and provide better financial conditions for the newspaper staff who were to be laid off. New owners also pledged to continue the editorial course and retain the JC editor Stephen Pollard.
The consortium consists of ten named figures alongside unnamed donors from the Jewish community.
Among the members of consortium are former Chairman of the Charity Commission William Shawcross, former Labour MP John Woodcock, broadcasters John Ware and Jonathan Sacerdoti, and Rabbi Jonathan Hughes of Radlett United Synagogue along with other members from financial and legal worlds.
The group involved in the transfer process has intended to provide all the acquisition details including the financial sources and the full list of new owners in the nearest future.